Why an Algorithm Won’t Help You Hire for Helpdesk

by Modis on June 23, 2015

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When it comes to technology, automation is the new norm. Hungry to reduce costs, organizations are always looking for creative ways to replace human effort with algorithms.

As one TechRepublic article points out, many companies see help desks as a “necessary evil” and “cost center” that should be streamlined. As a result, these positions often have low barriers to entry—when staffing their help desks, companies will often seek to hire the highest number of people at the lowest possible cost.

In pursuit of this hiring vision, one company has created a new type of technology that will scan a candidate’s voice for characteristics.

As NPR explains: “Regardless of whether you’re happy, sad or cracking jokes, your voice has a hidden, complicated architecture with an intrinsic signature — much like a fingerprint. And through trial and error, the algorithms can get better at predicting how things like energy and fundamental frequency impact others — be they people watching a movie, or cancer patients calling a help line.”

Can an algorithm really simplify the process of hiring help desk workers?

We’re taking a firm stance behind our answer of ‘no,’ and here are three reasons why:

Situational Complexities

Global businesses have different types of business needs—and will, as a result, achieve the best results when hiring a diverse help desk workforce. Companies will want to hire team members with varying speaking styles to help build personal relationships with a wide spectrum of customers and prospects.

Algorithms do not account for the nuances that play a crucial role in forging interpersonal relationships. Every day, help desk workers harness their individual skill sets to navigate situational complexities, build bonds and forge the best path forward.

A person’s ability to succeed depends on more than his or her voice. You will want to understand each candidate’s talents within the context of a specific need.

Specialized Knowledge

Customers who call your company’s help line will want immediate answers. That’s why you need help desk workers who can utilize their problem solving abilities to think on their feet and respond quickly.

An algorithm can’t screen candidates for this wealth of knowledge in the same way that a situational interview can. You’ll need to talk to each help desk candidate 1-on-1 to gauge ability, empathy and knowledge.

Personality traits and voices are layers on top of the core values that a person brings to the table. Remember that on the other side of the phone line, your customers want more than an ‘awesome voice’— they want fast solutions to their pain points and challenges.

Team Fit

Help desk workers are more than voices over the phone—they’re valued team members who will take unique paths within your organization. Some will receive promotions and others will transition into new operations. You’ll want to make sure that each person brings new value to the table and that each individual is fully empowered.

Algorithms may be able to shed insight into a person’s voice and style, but it will fall short in predicting future performance—you can’t replace the experience of having every prospect meet and greet with the team.

The bottom line is that you need to understand each candidate on a human level. Voice is superficial and secondary to each candidate’s underlying skills and values.

Finding Top Hires Without An Algorithm

Looking beyond an algorithm is key in identifying the unique value of each human being. Modis has a proven record of success when it comes to connecting top businesses with exceptional tech professionals. If you’re ready to move your business forward and hire the right IT talent, contact us today.

We want to hear from you. Do you think an algorithm will help the hiring process or hinder it? Comment below with your thoughts.

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